14 Jun 2018

Bougainville concerned at two week delay for key meeting

1:06 pm on 14 June 2018

A much-anticipated meeting between the governments of Papua New Guinea and Bougainville has been put off for two weeks.

Flag of autonomous region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea

Photo: manganganath/123RF

The Joint Supervisory Board, the JSB, was to meet today in Arawa, to resolve a number of key issues concerning next year's planned vote in Bougainville on possible independence from PNG.

These include confirming the date for the vote and establishment of a Commission that will oversee the preparations.

But at the behest of Port Moresby the JSB meeting has been put back two weeks.

The deputy leader of the PNG opposition and MP for southern Bougainville, Timothy Masiu, said the delay is a concern for Bougainvilleans.

"The Prime Minister said in parliament the 14th he will be in Arawa for the JSB. He repeated himself during the Bougainville Referendum Conference we had in Port Moresby. For us to now know he has postponed it, again, gives us the impression the Papua New Guinea government is not serious about the Bougainville issue."

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